Abbott reportedly told delegates to the Republican convention Wednesday that he planned to challenge the provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require Texas to pre-clear changes to its election laws in his appeal to the Supreme Court, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday
. Then, on Thursday, Abbott announced that he also intends to appeal
a new court ruling that threw out the state's new voter-identification law on the same grounds.
Minority groups seeking changes to the interim maps argue that, because the interim maps were based largely on the maps that failed the preclearance test, they should be changed, even though primaries in the state have already been held -- and military and absentee ballots must be shipped out in less than a month.
"Over 90 percent of the map is the legislative map, that has been found to be illegal," said Luis Vera, attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens, according to the San Antonio Express-News
Some have speculated that, if the court chose to alter the map, Texas could hold open primaries on Nov. 6 in all races, with the top two candidates advancing to a runoff election if no one earned a majority of the votes. But that is a longshot: Elections officials say they would not have enough time to prepare for that, given federally-mandated deadlines for military ballots.
Garcia asked petitioners that, if they intend to argue against holding the Nov. 6 elections under these maps, they should come to Friday's status meeting "prepared to present statutory or caselaw in support of any such argument."